Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Final Show 'n' Tell at Oxbow

The Pinnacles of Summer Studios ;)
 Clint's Prints

Me with large works in progress
Great spaces to work in

Our Lady of the Root

Daisy Eneix, untitled (in progress), 3x4' painting on panel

Detail of painting in progress at Oxbow. I brought out the wood grain using colored inks, then added the figure. The initial drawing was created by scanning an existing life drawing sketch I had and combining it with images of tree roots on photoshop; tracing it onto vellum and then tracing it again and adding and altering details. When I finally had a design I like I enlarged it onto the wood panel, first painting the shape in gesso (transparently) and then working over it in inks. This was the first time I used photoshop to create an initial composite - actually several - to see what worked best. The amount of sketching and erasing time it saved me in the initial planning stages was phenomenal.

Daisy Eneix, untitled, 3x4' painting on panel

Here the luna moths have been added. These were made by mixing gesso and ink initially, not layering as much, so they appear more opaque. Mica was added for iridescence. The bird and nest also received some more color. I still haven't chosen a title.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Luna Moth - ink on panel

There's more to tell about this small detail of a 3x4 foot painting I made, 
but this is a good beginning.

Painted Stages of Spiderweb/Trap

First I made some sketches from reference.
Using the drawing as inspiration, I layered ink and white gesso on a long, narrow panel.  This is a detail of it.
This is a detail of the final work - with added ink, pencil, colored glazes, and acrylic 'ooze'
This is a detail of the top of the work. I wanted the web to look strong, thick and a little bit worn. Parts of it are incised into the wood. I had a close look at a number of webs and was surprised to find double-strands. While trying to collect reference, I learned that spider webs can be right there in front of you but not appear in photographs at all.  You have to be in the light just right for your camera to see them.  I thought that was pretty eerie.

Oxbow Painting Retreat

This summer I had the opportunity to work alongside some incredible artists at Oxbow school. The Oxbow summer adult program allows artists to work on independent projects with experienced and encouraging facilitators. For three years I participated in printmaking, but this year I tried painting for the first time.

I had painted before in oil on canvas and watercolor, but I wanted to do something different.  Normally I do a lot of preparatory drawings for my prints, and the drawings themselves are interesting.  I was hoping to somehow combine qualities of drawing, painting and printmaking all together. I wound up using ink, pencil and paint on wood with gesso and also, sometimes, carving directly into the wood. I found that creating white gesso shapes based on my drawings did have a printmakerly feel. I also learned that I could work with ink directly on wood, over a clear-gesso, or over white gesso and get very different effects. Pencil also worked on the wood, but it dulled very quickly so I had to sharpen it a lot.

Both the subject matter and the media of my work appears to be shifting from what it was before. Changes like this are at once challenging, because I can't rely on what I knew from before, and exciting, because I can approach things with more of a beginner's mind. Having such a supportive group and helpful teachers was the perfect environment in which to explore this new material.